Library Day in the Life Wiki…07.29.08

29 07 2008

I think the Library Day in the Life project  is pretty interesting and relevant to the purpose and content of my daily blog. Although I don’t detail everything that goes on each day, I do provide a cohesive thread along those lines from when I started blogging.  If I had the extra time to devote to a detailed reporting of my daily activities, I would do so.  Perhaps I will at some future date.  However, it seems from my review of what most post online about their activities, mine would seem rather mundane and somewhat misleading since many of my daily activities would not appear immediately as directly library-related since I have an organizational marketing component to my position which is a little too complex to grasp without much explanation.  Anyway, a description of the project follows.  I plan to look in from time to time to see what the various participants say they do each day.

“…Whether you are a librarian or library worker of any kind, help us share and learn about the joys and challenges of working in a library. Join us by sharing details of your day for a week on your blog. Not only is this a great way for us to see what our colleagues are doing and how they spend their days but it’s a great way for students who are interested in the library profession to see what we really do. 

If you are interested in sharing your day/week in the life:

  1. Add your name to the list below. The invitation code to log in is: library.
  2. Add your name, your job title (so we can see what you do at a glance) and a link to your blog.
  3. Next week* start blogging.
  4. Tag your posts with librarydayinthelife.
  5. Later you can come back and edit this page to change your blog link to a link to your tagged posts. 

Thank you to Bobbi Newman for this wonderful idea! You can read the post that inspired librarydayinthelife on Bobbi’s site Librarian by Day.  

7/24/08 edit – It looks like this is still making the rounds and if everyone else is in agreement maybe we can making this an ongoing project.  New people can sign up whenever they discover it and I know some people are already talking about doing it again in 6 months or so…”


Public Library Trends Database Available for Searching…07.29.08

29 07 2008

LibGig had a very useful post yesterday about the launch of the Gannett searchable database of public library trends:

Gannett News Service released a searchable database July 17 that compares trends affecting public library systems between 2002 and 2006. The analysis used data from the National Center for Education Statistics as well as statistics collected from state library data coordinators, compared figures for the some 9,200 library systems, and found that library visits increased by roughly 10% during that five-year period and that circulation of materials rose by 9%.  read more »


Marketing Corporate Libraries Brochure from ProQuest Helpful…07.28.08

28 07 2008

Through an unrelated online search today, I found a concise but helpful and relevant new brochure from ProQuest geared toward corporate special libraries called the “The Visible Corporate Library: Marketing Ideas for Promoting Your Resources and Services.” The letter from the Senior Vice President of Marketing & Customer Care describes the contents as follows:  “…This booklet, The Visible Corporate Library, contains tips for identifying marketing opportunities, ideas for promoting your services, notes on how to help your users have a good experience when they come to you for help, tips on what to measure and how to communicate your library’s value, and some networking and support ideas. In addition to this booklet, you will find the ‘Corporate Library Toolkit’ at Click on ‘Library Marketing Tools’…”  I will take a closer look and consider how I might implement some of these marketing ideas in my special library.  You can find it here:

15 Objections and Answers to Social Learning…07.28.08

28 07 2008

The following objections and answers to Social Learning are from Kevin Jones :

Objection #14: Prove It!

Objection #13: How Do You Measure ROI?

Objection #12: How Will You Measure That It Is Working?

Objection #11: Too Much Info

Objection #10: Wasting Time

Objection #9: They Aren’t Technical

Objection #8: Out of Date Information

Objection #7: The Information is Wrong!

Objection #6: Mixing Things Up

Objection #5: How Do You Know it’s Accurate?

Objection #4: Posting Anything, Including Bonobos

Objection #3: Control of Information

Objection #2: What Does This Have To Do With Training?

Objection #1: Socialize!

New Google Rival Search Engine CUIL Debuts Today…07.28.08

28 07 2008

The Cuil (pronounced as “cool”) website says, “Cuil is an old Irish word for knowledge. For knowledge, ask Cuil.”

CNN reported today:

“…Anna Patterson’s last Internet search engine was so impressive that industry leader Google Inc. bought the technology in 2004 to upgrade its own system.

She believes her latest invention is even more valuable – only this time it’s not for sale.

Patterson instead intends to upstage Google, which she quit in 2006 to develop a more comprehensive and efficient way to scour the Internet.

The end result is Cuil, pronounced “cool.” Backed by $33 million in venture capital, the search engine plans to begin processing requests for the first time Monday.

Cuil had kept a low profile while Patterson, her husband, Tom Costello, and two other former Google engineers – Russell Power and Louis Monier – searched for better ways to search.

Now, it’s boasting time.

Web index: For starters, Cuil’s search index spans 120 billion Web pages.

Patterson believes that’s at least three times the size of Google’s index, although there is no way to know for certain. Google stopped publicly quantifying its index’s breadth nearly three years ago when the catalog spanned 8.2 billion Web pages…”

Public Library Funding Study Results…07.27.08

27 07 2008

I found an interesting blog post from Friday about a public library funding report from OCLC that I thought was worth excerpting and further review of the complete study when time permits.  Although I work in a special library, some of the results are worth noting and may be helpful in future positions or work with a Friends of the Library group.  The following are excerpts I found particularly interesting from the post “From Awareness to Funding” [] :

“…In this third part, I will wrap up the analysis of the report and provide what I think libraries could do in relation to this report…

Advice from elected officials:

Stress the library’s return on investment (ROI) to the community

  1. Build strategic partnerships
  2. Be proactive
  3. Engage voters in the campaign
  4. Stress the broad appeal of the library

Elected officials on library funding campaigns

Elected officials cited a number of important components required of a successful
library funding campaign:

  • Messaging that focuses on the broader value of the library to the community,specifically a community gathering place, access to technology and programs for teenagers and other groups
  • A passionate, committed and active champion(s) who can rally support among the elected officials and community influences
  • Civic engagement, including a commitment to speak with every relevant group in the community to encourage grassroots support
  • A willingness to partner with other public services in a joint effort where strategically advantageous
  • The ability to ask for the right support at the right time:
    • Voter turnout is greater for general elections than local elections
    • It is often easier to campaign for a new building than for operating funds…

A definite need, the “passionate librarian”

These five attributes can be combined to describe the ‘passionate librarian’:p152

True advocate for lifelong learning

  • Passionate about making the library relevant again
  • Knowledgeable about every aspect of the library
  • Well-educated
  • Knowledgeable about the community.

There seems to be a DEFINITE correlation between passionate librarians and support. Sure if your staff doesn’t care about the library, why should anyone else? Furthermore, if you are a mover and shaker is it more important that you ARE one rather than what specifically you are doing?…

Library’s Relevance is questioned

Information: The library is one of many sources of information. It could potentially be replaced by a combination of bookstores, schools, coffee shops and the Internet.

  • Institution: The library is an institution sometimes associated with an out-of-date building, aged materials and limited accessibility. (The library has limited hours, the Internet is available 24/7.)
  • Nice to have: Availability of so many other options for information and learning make the library a ‘nice to have’ service, rather than a necessity.
  • Past: The library is an important part of supporters’ lives, but they question whether it is still relevant for their children and grandchildren.
  • Altruism for others: The library is less important to them, but it is important for ‘other people’ in the community.

p 174

Probable Supporters and Super Supporters felt that support for libraries
can be improved by increasing the public’s attention to four essential community benefits that the public library uniquely delivers:

  • Equal access: ‘No kid should have an excuse for not having a book or knowing how to do research. If you don’t have a computer at home, you can go to the public library.’
  • Shared community values (or teaches values) ‘It’s one of the few things that truly can provide a sense of community. It doesn’t belong to anyone but to all of us. It’s a good lesson in respect, being quiet, signing up for Internet time, returning books on time. It’s kind of a good building block in respect.’
  • A sacred place ‘It’s a gathering place where lots of different people can listen to someone else’s ideas, whether spoken or written.’ (Super Supporter, Medford, Oregon)
  • Community stature. ‘It represents a commitment by the community to cultural and intellectual activities.’…”

Terms for Library “Users” Poll on Library Journal Website…07.26.08

26 07 2008

I hadn’t thought about it but when I saw a side-bar poll on the Library Journal homepage soliciting what term I use to describe my library’s users I thought I would vote. I am a sucker for those small radio dial polls online.

I have been using the term “patrons” as does my ILS software.  I wonder if use of this term reveals my age or how long ago or where I went to library school.  I thought maybe there was a new term the “in” librarians of today might be using and I might be on the outside.  Anyway, the results were interesting although probably not of major significance. I’ll have to spend further thought on the subject and its potential ramifications, if any.

It is seems a little confusing how the poll results are displayed with the percentage and bar graph on top of the terms.  It takes a few seconds to figure out the results.  This emphasizes a good point I read on a recent Seth Godin blog post [ of which I agree: “… In a presentation to non-scientists (or to bored scientists), the purpose of a chart or graph is to make one point, vividly. Tell a story and move on. If you can’t be both vivid and truthful, it doesn’t belong in your presentation. (I can think of dozens of good uses of bar graphs… they’re not forbidden, they’re just overused and misused)…”

Here are the results of the poll at the time I participated:

What do you call people who use your library?

View Previous Poll Results